FIRE MARSHAL BILL IN TENNESSEE.
The proposed fire marshal bill, introduced early in the session of the Tennessee legislature, but not yet acted upon, shows in its preparation a particular knowledge of local conditions and might fittingly become a law, although its chances are somewhat poor. It authorizes the State insurance commissioner and the chief of the fire department or fire committee of the board of aldermen in all towns or cities to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire within their limits—such investigation to begin within three days after the occurrence of the fire. The commissioner is authorized to supervise and direct investigations when he deems it expedient. The bill stipulates that the authorities making the investigation “may” (why not “shall”?) within one week of the fire, report to the insurance commissioner, giving all the information called for by blanks, to be furnished by that office. The commissioner is authorized to examine witnesses under oath, and is given all the powers of a trial justice for the purpose of summoning and compelling the attendance of such witnesses. In fact, the bill practically gives to the commissioner all the powers vested in the fire marshal of Massachusetts, where the office has produced such marked benefits. It especially stipulates that the expenses incurred by the commissioner in the performance of his duties under the act shall be paid out of the fees so collected by him from insurance companies.
R. D. Wood & Co., of Philadelphia, have been awarded the contract for furnishing about 40,000 feet of pipe for improvements to the water service of Ocean City, N. J., to be made by the Ocean City Water company.